Iceland and Canada: the Rust Belt

Some say Canada’s Chilcotin, some say Iceland’s Sudurdalur, but the effect of farming in a non-manufacturing country is the same: your profits are spent on rust, and you never get ahead, because you’re constantly exchanging your labour for obsolescence. This is the side of the world economic system that is supposed to work well on national and international levels, but no matter where you go it doesn’t work regionally, right where it matters, where human activity meets the earth that supports it. We’ve had the burst bubble of the banking industry and the real estate industries. When the agricultural bubble bursts, we’ll have to do what the Icelanders do, this…bale


Obsolete Equipment in Sudurdalur

This is not a junkpile. It is the only lasting wealth on the place. You can make anything out of this stuff. That’s why it’s out by the road. Not only can the neighbours admire your wealth, but they can go shopping for bits that they need. The difference between this and Canada’s Chilcotin, is zero. Well, except for a few fire-seeded trees in the Canadian version. It might be a good idea to start stockpiling in our cities, too. This is the real recycling. That baler will stay there until every piece of it is used.

4 replies »

    • It’s an intriguing economic method, for sure. Instead of melting the iron down so it can be used again from scratch, the creative input that was put into it is preserved, and becomes its wealth. I’m trying to figure out how such a model might look if expanded into the green and recycling industries.


      • …And there is an artistic element isn’t there, I’ve seen great photos of old agricultural machinery in decline, there is a sort of rustic charm, even though it may also be a sad reflection of rustic decline.
        I’m sure there must be a way of extending and expanding this model, I’m sure you’re right


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